EUROPE – Assets invested in European exchange traded funds (ETFs) have grown 29% in the last six months from $5.6bn (€6bn) to $7.9bn (€8.5bn), according to the latest figures just published by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Globally, ETF assets under management rose 17% from $104.7bn (€112.4bn) to $122.3bn (€131.3bn).

Deborah Fuhr, vice president at Morgan Stanley in London, says continued market volatility is the main reason behind the growth. “The Enron affair has left investors reluctant to back just one or two stocks within a sector. The rapid growth in the European ETF market is largely due to the introduction last year of broad sector ETFs that mean people can avoid stocks like Enron but still benefit from their underlying sector,” she says.

Fuhr also believes that efforts to communicate the merits of ETFs is finally paying off. “People in Europe needed to be educated about ETFs, so the industry embarked some time back on a communication and information mission. That is now bearing fruit.”

Elsewhere, the Bank of New York has appointed Marc Russell-Jones as European product manager of its ETF division in London. Russell-Jones joins BoNY from FTSE International where he was regional director for France and Switzerland.